You may have noticed a new box on DCSki's home page for the "Amazon Honor System." Amazon.com (you know, The World's Biggest Bookstore) just introduced a new feature which allows web site visitors to make small payments to the web site. Payments can be as low as $1 or as high as $50. Amazon takes out a commission, and then passes the payment on to the web site operator. I reviewed the system and was impressed; payments are made securely through Amazon, are refundable within the first 30 days, and Amazon respects your privacy. I decided to sign up for this program to (hopefully!) generate an alternative revenue stream to help fund development and operation costs for DCSki.
Long story short: if you visit DCSki on a regular basis and enjoy it, you can now make a small payment through Amazon to show your support.
I've constructed a small FAQ below to answer any questions you may have.
Q: DCSki has always been free, are you now charging for access?
A: No! DCSki will remain free. Making payments is completely optional. Think of DCSki as a "shareware subscription" - if you like the site and use it regularly, consider making a payment from time to time to show your support. If you decide to make a payment, you can select whatever "subscription" fee you feel DCSki is worth - between $1 or $50.
Q: Is Scott hurting for money? Are the creditors about to take his skis away?
A: No, of course not. Scott has poured an enormous amount of time, effort, and money into developing and maintaining DCSki, adding new features regularly and staying up late to write articles. DCSki is his labor of love, but there are considerable expenses (outside of time) associated with running DCSki. For example, hosting and data provider fees for DCSki have risen steadily and are now over $300 per month on their own. Some of these costs are offset by advertisers, but additional payments from readers can help reward Scott for his efforts and keep the site going strong.
So, that about wraps it up. Again, making a payment is optional - and you needn't feel guilty if you don't! But if you'd like to pay a "voluntary subscription fee" (again, as little as $1), the new Amazon Honor System feature makes it easy and secure.
- Scott (starving DCSki editor)